A solo show by Katrina Jane Perry will open on Saturday February 23rd at 2pm - 4pm in RÝMD, Völvufell 13-21. The exhibition is a part of solo exhibitions by graduating students in MA Fine Art Programme at the Iceland University of the Arts.

See the Forest for the Trees
Katrina Jane Perry

Opening Hours: February 24., 27. and March 1 14:00 to 18:00

A forest is a prodigious resource – an environmental architecture emblematic of our interdependency, and equally our discontinuity with the natural world. The relationship between the nature of being human and that of an arboreal being is signified in our language however absent from the phenomenal order of nature. Arboreal: of, or of the nature of, trees; tree-dwelling. Linguistic advantage enables an intimate relation to the natural world whilst concurrently estranging us though objectified associations; a word signifies an abstract concept that refers to a concrete object. My sculptural investigations consider signification, the caretaker and a beneficiary, in observation of the nexus between ecological stability and economic viability in the context of the reclamation of the Icelandic forest.

Presently the forests of Iceland populate merely over 1% compared to settlement in the 9th century when an estimated quarter of the country was covered in birch woodlands. Managed forest areas represent a diversity of native and non-native arboreal species: Icelandic birch, Norwegian spruce, Alaskan cottonwood, Russian larch, Siberian pine, European beech among others. To see the trees within the context of their origins frames the forest as an archetypal metaphor embodying the heterogeneity of a displaced yet networked society. I wish to allude to the interconnectedness of human being and arboreal being in the context of traverse and adaptation by placing sculptural representations in adjacent dialogues.

Similarities within our own body architectures to those observed, morphologically and biologically as overt counterbalances of tension and grace – gravity and fragility, aims to provoke empathetic criticality in the value of forest in a land where trees are a scant minority. Hierarchal systems of inclusion-exclusion are questioned through allegorical and analogous readings of the forest as a paradoxical construction. At the junction between history and nature verisimilitude obscures. A forest is a dwelling, an abode to abandon social constructions that require justification in our cacophony of humanness – to see the forest for the trees is an exercise in our arboreality conscientious of our dependence upon its material resources and primordial wisdom. 

Katrina Jane Perry (b. 1983 Texas, USA) is a visual artist interested in geophysical and linguistic topographies in relationship to paradoxical systems governing environmental and social constructs. Perry holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from The University of Texas at Austin. She is the recipient of numerous residencies and scholarships, most recently from UiB Kunst, Musikk, Design in Bergen, Norway and the Department of Stone Sculpture in Évora, Portugal.

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